Ekphrasia: A combination of fantasia (unusual or exotic) and ekphrasis (one form of art inspired by another).I've been intrigued by all forms of art as reflection of and inspiration for social change: how we can inform, surprise, stretch, invite and incite changes in perspective that lead to action. My concern and outrage over environmental issues, political dissent, divisiveness, war, and discrimination are mirrored in the first stanza of a found poem I created from the contents of Bacopa Literary Review 2018:
A culture ignorant of reverence, currency cold, hard,Studying Abstract Expressionism this year then heightened my anguish over the minimization of women and (no surprise) other minorities in the historically white-male-dominated art world. Deeply reflecting on the works and history of a number of artists overlooked until recently, I found myself drawn into a six-month process of creation that was entirely intuitive, fueled by my desire to embody and transform underappreciated artists' stories and works in a way that would draw new attention to them.
dark hills, cultivation of scabs, scratchings of desire,
stand before the bar charged with racism, tangles, decays.
So much feels wrong, another chapter of slow death . . .
For each I downloaded small images of their paintings onto 22-pound printer paper and cut them into various abstract shapes unrelated to the original. After preparing a canvas with gesso, I put on disposable gloves, sat down on the floor with the pile of cut shapes, a jug of gloss varnish, a brush--and just let things happen. Sometimes I was drawn to fitting shapes as in a puzzle; sometimes I played with juxtaposition of colors. When I was happy with the placement of colors/shapes in a piece, I let it dry, then drew lines, circles, and outlines with a fine point pen to create new patterns.
|"Frankenthrall" by Mary Bast -- Mixed Media, 8" x 8"|
Frankenthaler (1928-2011) was better known and appreciated in her lifetime than many female Abstract Expressionists. Note, however, that histories of this art movement typically list Jackson Pollock, Willem de Kooning, Mark Rothko, Clyfford Still, and Franz Kline among exclusively white male artists.
With her invention of the soak-stain technique, Frankenthaler played a pivotal role in the transition from Abstract Expressionism to Color Field Painting.